Chemicals, popularly known as agrochemicals have become a vital tool in the
production process of agricultural commodities. This ranges from herbicides,
pesticides, miticides, nematicides, foliar and basal fertilizers, and veterinary
products. Each of these products assist in improving the quality of the
production process by helping fight various adverse conditions that may impact
the produce negatively.
Each product comes with a recommendation on the usage. The information
contained show the trade name of the product as it is presented in the market.
Then follows the active ingredient which is the specific molecule/chemical
contained in the chemical. The information on the target/work of the chemical
is briefly explained. Various products come with measuring tools; usually a
calibrated cup/bottle top, in millilitres or in grams.
The main concern is on the observation of health and safety. First the farmer
should measure correctly the recommended rates and mix well with the
recommended amount of water. It is highly discouraged to do the mixing
directly in the knapsack. For this reason a farmer should have a separate
container called a pre-mixing tank that is used to mix the chemicals then pour
into the knapsack for spraying. Only compatible chemicals should be mixed. This
information is usually provided in the information appended to the products’
During the spraying, the farmer should have worn good protective clothing. The
clothing should cover the eyes and other parts of the face. The rest of the
body should be covered with water proof clothing to avoid the chemical(s)
coming into contact with the skin. Gloves should be put in the hands.
The farmer should avoid spraying against the wind; rather he/she should spray
heading the direction of the wind. Where possible, spraying shouldn’t be done on
windy days. Early morning or late evening is usually the best time for spraying
the crops. Eating or drinking during the activity should not occur at any given
time. A farmer should carry manageable amount of chemical in the knapsack;
amount that he/she is able to carry and walk comfortably during spraying.
After the spraying activity, the farmer should first clean all the spraying
material then clean his/her body thoroughly. Any remaining chemicals should be
well sealed and kept in a safe place; away from heat, moisture, direct sunlight
and also out of reach by any unauthorised persons. They should observe some
hours before re-entry into the sprayed field to avoid inhaling the chemical(s).
Any empty containers should be destroyed by burning or by any disposal
methods recommended by the existing authority in the area.